Considered to be the biggest LGBT+ Pride celebration in the Mediterranean, with over 200,000 people taking part in the celebrations each year, Barcelona Pride is a wonderful time to visit the city. This cosmopolitan beach city...
I was also impressed by how much trans visibility there was at Pride. There was a whole family marching in front of us in support of their daughter, with everyone wearing Trans Pride flags as capes.
I have to limit myself to visiting Barcelona every second summer because I would never go anywhere else!
The Catalan capital feels like Sydney in Europe - the perfect example of a seaside city: big but not too crowded (by a Londoner’s standards anyway), spreading out of the central area to several fascinating districts, such as up-and-coming Poble-Sec, lefty heaven Gràcia and Dalston-like El Raval (where I prefer to stay).
In the summer, it is hot and cheerful, saturated with colour and sunshine. It would be hard ever to grow bored of this beautiful city.
Things to watch out for in Barcelona
Avoid, avoid, avoid.
Airports: be careful to check which airport your flight lands at before you book. The main airport, Barcelona International Airport (or El Prat, airport code: BCN), is only 13 km southwest of the city centre and is the best option. Some budget airlines like Ryan Air don’t always fly to this airport but use Girona (airport code: GRO) or Reus (airport code: REU), both over 100km from the city and can add significantly to the time and cost of your trip.
Pickpockets: Barcelona is possibly the pickpocket capital of the world - and spending a day of your holiday at the police station is not much fun. So make sure you bring a day bag with inaccessible pockets! My recent trip saw me targeted three times by thieves who managed to open my bags in public.
Las Rambla: stretching from Plaça de Catalunya down to the sea, this is tourist central and should be avoided. It is swarming with people and terrible microwaved paella cafes, making it a pretty horrible experience of the capital and total pickpocket central.